It’s my third outing for Hasbro’s new Star Wars Black 6-inch figure line. This will also be my last feature for the first wave, because I’m not buying Darth Maul. If I go back on that, I’ll have a contest where the lucky random winner will be flown to my hometown, spend the night in a fine hotel, and get to kick me square in the balls in front of all of the Youtubes. But don’t get excited, because that’s just not going to happen. Anyway, I saved the figure that I was looking forward to the most for last: The Sandtrooper!
There’s the artsy-fartsy collector packaging. I still dig it a lot, but once again, I would have appreciated either some character art or the name of the figure on the side of the box for easy reference. It’s totally collector friendly, so Mr. Sandtrooper can get packed away for storage when you’re done playing with him, or when you want to rotate something else out onto the display shelf. Some collectors I know were questioning why a Sandtrooper in the first wave? Why not a regular Stormtrooper? Well, much like the decision to go with X-Wing pilot Luke, I just find this one to be a more exciting choice. Besides, the extra equipment better shows off what Hasbro can do with this scale. Of course, if you want a regular Stormtrooper, all of this guy’s gear is removable, so let’s start off with the base figure.
Yup, stripped down you get a basic Stormy. Granted, he’s a dirty boy who hasn’t washed his armor in a while, but I’m sure there are plenty of planets where this guy would look at home trudging through swamps or other filth in search of Rebel holdouts. The sculpt is excellent, but it doesn’t pull too many surprises. I have no doubt that some Star Wars
nutjobs dedicated enthusiasts could pick apart problems with this sculpt, but that ain’t me. I think it looks great. Maybe the helmet is too big? But seriously, it looks fine to me. Oh, and before you get any bright ideas about a head-swap to make your own Luke in Stormtrooper disguise, forget about it. The ball joint for this guy is way too big to make the swap work.
The articulation here is quite good, but the sculpting on some of the armor pieces does its share to inhibit some movement. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, hips, wrists, and ankles. The arms feature swivels in the biceps and double hinged elbows. The legs have swivels at the hips and double hinges in the knees. The torso also features a ball joint with a solid range of movement. I’m quite happy with what this guy can do, even with some restrictions at the hips because of the armor pieces.
Of course, it takes more than a dirty set of armor to make a Sandtrooper. It takes cool gear and weapons and a burning desire to hump that shit out in the hot sun baked desert looking for some goddamn droids. For starters, you’ve got the pauldron, that piece of orange and black shoulder armor. It has straps that fits around the figure’s neck and under his arm and it’s easily removed or attached by popping his head off. Next up, you’ve got the big backpack, which pegs right into the hole on his back. There’s also an extra ammo pouch on it that hangs down the figure’s left shoulder. It pops up a bit, but you can tuck it under his helmet to make it behave.
Weapons! This dude is lugging more firepower then he knows what to do with. I’m reminded of the line in Firefly: Why are you bringing so many guns, you’ve only got the two arms… or something to that effect. The Sandtrooper comes with his standard E-11 blaster, a longer rifle with a bipod, which unfortunately does not fold down, and a carbine with a shoulder strap. The carbine can be slung nicely over one of his shoulders. Unfortunately, there’s no holster for the blaster. C’mon, Hasbro even the 3 ¾” Stormy had a holster for his blaster!
I had high hopes for this figure and I’m happy to say that Hasbro managed to rise to the occasion. He’s not perfect. I think there are some missed opportunities with the scale change. There’s also nothing much on this guy that hasn’t been done already on the best of the 3 ¾” versions, but I still love the way he turned out. He’s a ridiculously fun figure to play around with and I’ve had him patrolling my desk in various poses since I got him out of the package. And that wraps up my look at Wave 1. I’ve already got Wave 2 on pre-order (yup, this time I’m buying the whole thing) and I can’t wait to have them in my hands as well.